Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has appointed Ducks Unlimited CEO H. Dale Hall to the Governor's Advisory Commission on Coastal Protection, Restoration and Conservation. Hall will serve as one of two representatives from the conservation community.

“I am very pleased to accept Gov. Jindal's appointment. DU has committed a tremendous amount of energy to restoring coastal Louisiana wetlands, the core of one of our highest conservation priorities. We have been working to restore Louisiana's coastal wetlands for more than 20 years, and we will continue to focus extensive efforts and resources on this continentally significant wintering area for waterfowl,” Hall said.

Ducks Unlimited has a 73-year history of wetland restoration continent-wide. It began focusing on coastal restoration in Louisiana in 1985 and has enhanced more than 100,000 acres of coastal habitats in the state since that time.

“Dale Hall's appointment to the Governor's Advisory Commission is a memorable event,” King Milling, advisory board chair, said. “In his present position as the CEO of Ducks Unlimited, Hall represents an organization which has deep roots in this state and much stake in our future. His tenure as Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also allows the board to speak with authority as federal and state agencies try to unravel inconsistent laws and regulations which, in many instances, impede our effort to restore the coast. We are delighted at this appointment and look forward to working with him in the future,” Milling said.

Louisiana has lost over one million acres, nearly 40 percent, of coastal wetlands that were once among the most productive in North America.

“I think that with the BP oil spill, people are finally beginning to realize the disappearance of the Louisiana coast is not a local or even regional problem,” Hall said. “The area is vital for waterfowl, other wildlife and people across North America.”

Without quality habitat on the wintering grounds, waterfowl returning to the prairies to breed may return later in the year or in poorer physical condition and be less successful in producing the next generation. Migratory songbirds depend on the coastal wetlands and upland forests for rest and refueling before and after crossing the Gulf of Mexico – habitats also at risk as coastal marshes disappear and place more inland areas at risk of damage from salt water intrusion or coastal erosion.

“The seafood, tourism and energy industries that serve people nation-wide depend on the health of the coastal marshes. Because of that far-reaching value and the scale of the problem, DU advocates for important public policy efforts that can benefit coastal wetlands at the very large scales necessary to ensure system sustainability. DU also builds and maintains diverse partnerships while continually striving to increase awareness of the significance of the Louisiana coast to people nationwide, all in addition to on-the-ground conservation work,” Hall said.

“Sitting on the Governor's Advisory Commission is an excellent opportunity for DU to put our wetland conservation expertise to use in the effort to stem the tide of coastal wetland loss, and I am honored to represent DU in such a way,” Hall said. “DU appreciates Gov. Jindal's leadership on the coastal restoration problem, and we look forward to working with him and the rest of the Advisory Commission on this important issue.”

The Governor's Advisory Commission on Coastal Protection, Restoration and Conservation serves to advise the governor on the status of Louisiana's coastal protection and restoration program. Additionally, the commission strives to foster cooperation between federal, state and local agencies, conservation organizations and the private sector relative to coastal protection and restoration activities.